Talk to some of the most experienced home and professional grillers, and they’ll tell you that charcoal is where the flavor is at.
Rich and smoky with the perfect sear, there’s something quite unique about meat and other ingredients prepared on a charcoal grill.
In addition to flavor, charcoal grilling is affordable with grill models being more price-competitive when comparing similarly sized gas grills.
If you’re in the market for your next grill, consider the benefits of charcoal grilling.
We’ve covered all of the most important points so that you can make an informed decision.
Charcoal Grills Get Hotter
If you’re looking to sear meat to perfection, you need a grill that can get up to extreme temperatures. Charcoal produces hotter temperatures with infrared heat.
The average charcoal grill, even a simple kettle design, can hit temperatures as high as 700°F and some go even higher.
Some gas grills only reach up to around 500°F to 550°F, which means that the sear won’t be quite as good.
Searing your ingredients is important because it triggers a chemical reaction that increases the flavor, as we’ll explain in a few points below.
Easy Direct and Indirect Cooking
You’ll need at least two burners on a gas grill to cook with indirect heat. Most electric grills use a single heating element, so indirect cooking is impossible.
One of the most important benefits of charcoal grilling is that indirect cooking is an intuitive and straightforward process.
Arrange the charcoal on one side of the grill, and you can cook with indirect heat on the other side.
If you want to cook with direct heat, just place the food directly above the charcoal.
The versatility to customize the cooking surface with hot and cool zones makes charcoal grilling a simple experience.
As long as your charcoal grill has a hood, you can use indirect heat with the top down.
Amazing Flavor With Charcoal Grills
At the end of the day, it’s the flavor that matters the most when cooking.
Charcoal allows for excellent flavor and you’ll be able to tell the difference as soon as you start cooking with one of these grills.
There’s a common misconception that the flavor comes from the charcoal itself, but this isn’t actually the case.
Most of the flavor of charcoal (besides your ingredients) is a result of the Maillard reaction.
Sugars and amino acids combine under high temperatures to form complex compounds that are rich in flavor.
Drippings from food also fall on top of the hot coals where they are vaporized and reincorporated on the surface of food, helping to form a flavorful crust.
These processes occur much more readily with a charcoal grill, which makes even a classic model like the Weber Premium Kettle able to compete with the flavor of the most expensive gas grills.
The round grilling surface and large hood of the Weber kettle are ideal for family cooking, slow grilling, and gatherings of friends and family.
Simpler to Add Wood for Smoking
Most gas and electric grills aren’t designed to be used with wood chips out of the box. Charcoal, thanks to the simple design principle, can use wood chips easily.
You can smoke with a charcoal grill any time you want by adding wood chips or pellets. With the hood down, food is infused with the rich flavor of whatever wood you prefer.
You can even smoke for long periods using a charcoal grill, although you’ll need to keep in mind that more smoke will escape when compared to a dedicated smoker.
Try these Weber Apple Wood Chips if you want a light and versatile flavor for meat and poultry.
Less Moisture Loss with Charcoal Grills
Have you ever cooked with gas and found that your meat didn’t have the juiciness that you expected?
Even if you follow recipes with specific cooking times, you can find that a gas grill will dry out your food.
Charcoal produces infrared heat which keeps food from drying out while it’s cooking.
This is why, in many cases, burgers, steaks, chops, chicken, and other ingredients are much juicier and more flavorful when served from a charcoal grill.
You could invest in a gas grill that has infrared heating technology for searing meat, or, you could have this feature integrated into the fuel itself by choosing an affordable charcoal grill.
Charcoal Grills are More Affordable
There’s no getting around the fact that charcoal grills are more affordable than gas and electric grills. There are a few reasons for this.
- Charcoal grills can use fewer materials in the construction, keeping the overall cost down.
- Charcoal grills don’t need gas burners and regulators.
- Charcoal grills have fewer complex moving parts and are based on time-proven technology.
The manufacturing process to produce a charcoal grill is quite simple, and a lot of the research and development was done decades ago.
In fact, many would argue that classic kettle grills are still the best that you can buy today, and the basic design has been around since the 1950s.
The Char-Griller Akorn Jr. is an amazing portable grill with an insulated body.
It’s suited to grilling with the hood up or down and can be used for low and slow smoking sessions.
The Benefits of Charcoal Grilling Make for a Convincing Investment
With the best heat performance, mouthwatering flavor, the potential for juicier food, and affordability, it’s hard to find anything with better value than a charcoal grill.
Sure, charcoal isn’t quite as convenient as gas or even an electric grill, but for the home cook that wants to be more involved in the cooking process, it’s hard to find anything better.
If you want to cook better and more flavorful meals, the benefits of charcoal grilling will get you there.